Tolerance can bring about lasting peace in the world
Most of us have come across many such situations in life wherein the question of Tolerance comes up and we are required to choose whether to tolerate or retaliate. If, for example, a person who has no control over his tongue or is uncultured, impolite, short-tempered and ill-mannered talks in an offensive or insulting language or behaves rudely and roughly with us, then what would we do?
Well! A cultured and spiritualised person, under such a situation, would choose to tolerate, because he knows very well that when tolerance is lost, temper is also lost and the loss of both means the loss of mental balance. Hence, in such a situation, one should not feel hurt, injured or mauled and should not think of revenge. Instead, one should pity such a person and give him vibrations of peace to recover from his temper. This kind of approach or attitude would enable one to remain calm, composed and dignified. Tolerance, in such provocative situations, is a Value that saves one's life. Tolerance, joined by humility, has great Value even as a matter of policy, strategy or tactic.
So, if one loses tolerance in such hot situations even for a moment, one may even lose one's life or face a still more complicated situation, fraught with grave consequences and unpredictable repercussions. Looking at it from this angle, one can say that tolerance is not only a high-class virtue and moral value but it is a non-violent strategy for self-defence and survival and also a weapon for victory. Remember! Our tolerance and Humility can melt or mellow the minds of our bitter critics and opponents while it enables us to be in a state of peace. It creates harmony in the course of time and even the most arrogant person, at some point in time, expresses appreciation of our amazing tolerance in the face of grave aggravation. Along with this, we should also learn to forget and forgive some lapses and shortcomings of others in the spirit of friendliness or brotherhood, or else we cannot have goodwill, amity co-operation and peace.
However, most people ask this question: how long should we allow our tormentor to continue with his cruel acts, his nefarious designs and his dirty ways? Should we tolerate injustice? If we do so, wouldn't it mean our silent consent to his acts of depriving those who deserve justice? Also, it would mean our connivance in his acts of punishing those who are not at fault. Isn't it a kind of self-imposed servitude, servility and slavery? The answer is that we must put forth our moral resistance. We must make our disapproval manifest through our non-cooperation in such acts. Better still, we must use our skill of persuasion at proper moments. We must make efforts to enable this man of blinded intellect to see the real nature of his act and the attendant evils and the following consequences.
We must have the spiritual power to change his heart, to transform him from being stone-hearted. We must try to give a healing touch to this mentally and morally sick person. We must pity him rather than lose our moral sense and react with a feeling of rancour and vengeance. That would be our tolerance. But the question that ultimately comes up is whether we have that spiritual power to transform a sinner into a saint. For that, we must check our stock of spirituality and fill ourselves with the power again through Yoga-Mediation as one would recharge one's battery with the help of a dynamo. With our high spiritual power, we can use tolerance as a tool of social transformation and can be God's instrument for uplifting a man, fallen from his seat of morality.
(The writer is a spiritual educator and popular columnist; views expressed are personal)